Obituary: From Hampstead to Africa and the Lord’s Pavilion - how Hampstead GP Dr Micky Day led the way
PUBLISHED: 18:00 29 November 2019
A GP known to generations of Hampstead families died last month at the age of 90.
Dr Jose Day, better known as Micky, led a life that covered the plains of east Africa, VD clinics in King's Cross and an Australian Ashes Team dressing room at Lord's.
She came to London from Lancashire to study medicine at the Royal Free Hospital's medical school. She met her future husband there, Michael, who she married in 1952. He was Professor of Anatomy at St Thomas's Hospital and died last year.
They then bought an old nursing home in Thurlow Road where they lived in for more than 60 years. It became a family home and a home for the practice that she built up. "In the early days, it was not unusual to find queues people stretching into the road waiting to be seen" said Jeremy.
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"Hampstead back then was very diverse and vibrant. At one point Mum would be treating the literati and glitterati and the next people who had not very much at all. To me she was Dr Hampstead."
She was a supporter of the NHS and women's rights. In the 1960s she was part of the Medical Women Federation successfully getting Abortion Law reform, and was known as a GP who would help women looking to have an abortion.
While accompanying Michael on research trips to East Africa, she started doing surgeries for the Flying Doctor service, treating people in Kenya and Tanzania.
Micky blazed a trail in cricket too. In 1981 the Australian Ashes side needed a doctor and she caused consternation as she made her way to treat Dennis Lillee in the dressing room, as women were not allowed to be in the Pavilion. Afterwards she had a long association with the MCC and Middlesex Cricket Club.
"Mum loved people." said Jeremy. "She was empathetic, perceptive and caring. If someone was in genuine need she would help and dealt with people as people, no matter who they were or what their background. She put so much into people and life that as a result she got so much out of it."
There will be an "End of Days" party at Burgh House on December 7 from 3pm to celebrate her life. All who knew her are welcome.